Love what you are doing so that it does not feel like a job. Give 100% of you what you do.
Richard Saling is the Director of Marketing for Express Flooring (or Express Home Services). Located in Phoenix, Arizona, his powerful new marketing strategies have brought brand name notoriety to a higher level and raised local luminary status to a household name. He has created new initiatives to engage his market with expressively motivating campaigns.
Richard became a resident of Arizona in 1989 with his family as a young adult. He completed a tour of duty in military service as a Marine. He returned to Arizona and enrolled at Arizona State University where he earned his Bachelor’s Degree. He continued his education at the University of Phoenix and achieved his MBA in 2005. Richard has been married for over 20 years and is the proud father of three teenagers, 2 sons, and a daughter.
Richard Saling began his career in the marketing department of Phoenix College, a local community college. He continued his career perfecting his skills in the corporate marketing industry. His focus was on web marketing and management. He honed his skills in research and analytical thinking, creativity, design, technology, negotiation, and communications within a corporate environment. His commitment to Express Flooring and dedication to daily self-improvement has made him the ideal person to continue to guide the company to new growth.
Where did the idea for your company come from?
When I was fresh out of college, I was working in marketing for a very large corporate environment. They continuously told me that they valued me and my work. I earned several promotions to higher positions within the organization, but I reached a plateau. I had my MBA, and was still looking for a senior role that would lead to a seat at the C-Level. When I was offered a position as a Marketing Manager with all responsibilities therein, I seized the opportunity. Even though, Express Flooring was smaller, I had the opportunity and the support to make my mark and expand the brand. Their support system in this company has recognized my value to the company. As the Director of Marketing, it has been very exciting to be a part of helping them grow and expand.
What does your typical day look like and how do you make it productive?
It starts in the office at 7am when I go over the previous days’ work. I review and address any requests for quotes that come into the sites and address any messages from vendors and partners in other time zones. After all of the issues are addressed, I then meet with any vendors or executives if required. I then loo through our PPC and SEO dashboards for any opportunities to optimize performance. In between working on current marketing initiatives, I run my reports for sales and how each marketing channel is attributed to each sale, which assists us in making business decisions. I follow by listening to the calls of our appointment setters to make sure they are staying on script and that we have not lost any business opportunities. I also make sure to address any complaints if there are any and make sure the right individuals will be taking care of it.
How do you bring ideas to life?
New ideas come to me when things are quiet. My brain goes into overdrive. I read articles about new trends and about how people are buying now and the shifts in consumer behavior. With any new knowledge, I figure out how I can apply a new strategy to the way we work. I will put together a mock-up, discuss it with the executives. If I am really passionate about something, I push really hard. At the end of the day, it’s based on the data we’ve collected and if it makes business sense, we create the new strategy and move ahead.
What’s one trend that excites you?
The trend that really excites me is how people are looking for more social proof before they make a purchase. When you are putting in 1,000 floors a month. It is very powerful to ask a friend about their experience for a product or service and base your decision on that response. Imagine the power for an overwhelming amount of satisfied customers to easily write about a really good experience. Accomplish this and Social media works in your favor. It makes our job somewhat easier. With this trend, we could generate positive ways to encourage our customers to share their positive experiences that they have had with Express Flooring.
What is one habit of yours that makes you more productive as an entrepreneur?
My focus. I really work at not being distracted by the two or three critical projects that must be accomplished each day. Unless there is an emergency that has to be addressed, my focus is accomplished without delay. I also structure uninterrupted time for each task. Keeping on daily tasks is critical.
What advice would you give your younger self?
I would tell my younger self to stay the course. You’re doing the right thing, but don’t mess around. Don’t wait until your late 20’s or 30’s to get started. Put your best foot forward. Love what you are doing so that it does not feel like a job. Give 100% of you what you do.
Tell us something that’s true that almost nobody agrees with you on.
What you focus on tends to expand. If you are in a bad mood, your day will give evidence to the bad mood. Find a better focus, and you will find proof of a better solution. When you focus on something that you want, focus on the end result. Don’t tell anyone about your goals, it will be evident on its own. I have read many biographies of successful people who live by a similar philosophy.
As an entrepreneur, what is the one thing you do over and over and recommend everyone else do?
Personal Development. When we stop growing, we start dying. We are constantly bombarded with negative messages that take our energy make us feel down. It is better to read a book that gives you a positive mindset. I attended an event in 2012 with Michael Bernoff who I believe worked for Tony Robbins in the early years. It was a three-day event that provided us with the tools to create a more positive life. You had to take those tools and apply it to your daily life. It changed my life completely. I was in a dark place at the time, but six months later people asked me what I did. When I learned and accepted that I can only control my own self, and not others, it was amazing. It was a game changer.
What is one strategy that has helped you grow your business?
Building the PPC account to best practices. It is a daunting task to be efficient in adwords. Our keyword costs were going down, the cost of acquiring customers went down, all of the metrics were going in the right direction. In addition, I dove deeper into Google Analytics and the view of our service area, and for people who will potentially become Express Flooring’s new customers. This has provided a greater insight in were our customers are coming from and what they are searching for on our site.
What is one failure you had as an entrepreneur, and how did you overcome it?
In 2008 I was laid-off, but so were most everyone that I knew. It was difficult to find anyone to speak with. So many people were going through the same thing. We were all in shock and taking jobs well beneath our level of pay. I took straight commission sales for 6 or 7 years. They were very lean years for our family. I was nowhere near the income level we were used to. I did freelance marketing work on the side. As the years went by, I never gave up. Although it was tough from time to time, I kept my focus on the positive until I found where I am now.
What is one business idea that you’re willing to give away to our readers?
Tomorrow is not guaranteed. Be loyal to your company no matter where you work. However, be smart and know that at any time that business can lay you off. Find any side business that you can do on your own. Become a business owner and as an LLC you can gain more tax deductions than a W2 employee. Speak with your CPA of course, like mine, Mark Kohler. This one thing will help you pay less in taxes and is the fastest way to recoup more cash flow.
What is the best $100 you recently spent? What and why?
Concert Tickets. We went to see Metallica. They were around when I was a kid. I got to experience the same great band with my son. I spent a little less than a hundred bucks, but It was priceless.
What is one piece of software or a web service that helps you be productive? How do you use it?
Google Analytics – it provides invaluable information. I can see that information and know exactly how to direct or redirect the flow of my site. It provides so much information you can go into information overload if you chose to go in very deep.
What is the one book that you recommend our community should read and why?
Think and Grow Rich, by Napoleon Hill. He provided timeless information that applies today.
What is your favorite quote?
Average Stinks! I need to consistently be growing and expanding. I want to be better tomorrow than I was today.
● Regardless of the situation, we share the same number of seconds in a day. Treat it like it is hard earned money.
● Be positive, think positive,
● Keep expanding, be better today than you were yesterday,
● Keep focused, Keep inspiring.
● If the interview inspires you, use it to get what you want out of life.
Steve (Stefan) Junge hails from Germany and helps with the day-to-day publishing of interviews on IdeaMensch. While he and Mario don’t share a favorite soccer club, their enthusiasm to help entrepreneurs is a shared passion.